On Saturday 30th January 2021, the South Sudan Athletics Federation (SSAF) started the 2021 program with the 3rd National Cross Country, an event which was held at Buluk Athletics Center.
The 2021 3rd national Athletics Cross Country show Eastern Equatorial State (EES) became the overall winners of the 3rd National Cross Country held in Juba on Saturday 30th January 2021.
Marop Martial who was representing Lakes State Rumbek became 1st in the 10,000 meters race with a promising clock of 32:06 in the men’s category, Eastern Equatoria State representative Dominic Otiara registered 32:15 clock to become second, David Gonji from Central Equatoria registered 32:16 to become 3rd in the race. Samson Atari from Eastern Equatoria State who registered 32:17 became 4th in the race.
David Gonji who competed in February 2020 in the East Africa Half Marathon Championship in Massawa Eritrea and completed the Race at 1:07:00 is looking forward to improving on his timing.
However in the 2000 meters Women category,Ajith thalang from Northern Bhar Ghazal Aweil became number one after finishing the race in time 06:24. Nyandiar Marial from Rumbek, Lakes State finished second with 06:50 time. Mimi Simon who represented Central Equatorial State became third (3rd) with 06:55 time. Celina Agor from Warrap State finished the race in the 4th position after registering 6:57 time.
The organizers of the event, South Sudan Athletics Federation (SSAF) then pronounced Eastern Equatoria State as the overall winner, with Central Equatoria State and Lakes State taking the Second and Third positions respectively in the 2021 National Cross Country.
The event which was attended by the South Sudan Olympic Committee President Eng: Stephen Luga who also gave an update on the 4 Athletes and the coach who are currently based in Japan ahead of the July International Olympics. According to Luga all the Athletes and the coach are doing well and ready to bring smiles into the country.
Meanwhile the President of the South Sudan Athletics Federation Mr. Samir Khemis Suilman has urged the government through the national Ministry of Youth and Sport to vigorously start supporting sports in the country, he also issued the same message to the two Deputy Governors of Lakes States Hon: Puot Madit and Northern Bahr Ghazal Hon: Dr Tong Lual Ayot respectively to also convince the locally based potential Athletes to join the game and keep supporting them in time of needs.
The 3rd National Cross Country was concluded with the award of the medals and overall trophy, with SSAF Secretary General Counsel Marco Akol Deng promising to improve the face of the game in the country and do more, although he still continue to sight lack of adequate government funding, and lack of budget from the general budget of the Ministry of Youth and Sports